Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog

My plane arrived home today after an 11 hour overnight train ride from Xi'an to Beijing, an 11 hour flight from Beijing to San Francisco, and a 5 hour flight from San Francisco to the Gulf Coast. It's now 8:39 pm here, but my body kind of thinks it's 9:39 am tomorrow morning in Beijing. I didn't really have jet lag too badly on the way to China, but I'm so confused right now I'm amazed I'm typing. I will shortly go to bed and pass out, and hopefully wake up when tomorrow is truly tomorrow, not some strange half day where the sun sets and rises but the date doesn't change.

It was a great trip. I'm thoroughly sick of Chinese food, and I'm sooooo happy to be back in my house, with my own soft bed, my own clean Western toilet, unlimited toilet paper, clean hand towels, and soap (all luxuries). In the airport, I could actually read all the signs, and understand the directions of the officials guiding me through multiple lines of Customs checks and security searches. You get homesick for little things you didn't even think about.

After leaving the airport, we drove immediately to a mexican restaurant, where I had (in this order) iced tea, a margarita (on the rocks, no salt), chips and salsa and queso, enchiladas (chicken and beef) with refritos and rice, and vanilla bean cheesecake. Every bite was heaven.

I now speak a few words of Mandarin. I can say hello (nihao), thank you (xiexie), how much is it? (duao shao chen?), count to three (ee, er, sun), this and that (jega and nega), doctor (ishung), please (ching), and you're welcome (bu ku chi). (All spellings are TS-ized pinyin and I just made most of them up). It is weird now not to be greeted at a restaurant with Nihao! but I guess I'll get used to it.

Travel is fun, and I really, really loved my month, but I'm so glad to be home.


Rach said...

welcome home. I also really appreciated the ease with which I glided through customs and security when I came back from my 2 1/2 months in the middle east (even though I more than sorta spoke the language!)... It's always good to be home, especially when the toilet paper's soft :)

Gauderio said...

Welcome Back!!!! We need to get together soon.

Midwife with a Knife said...

Welcome home! Sounds like it was quite the trip. I am glad you got to feeling better.

And congrats on the Mandarin. :)